Read Daniel 9:20-27
20While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill— 21while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. 22He instructed me and said to me, "Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. 23As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the message and understand the vision:
24"Seventy 'sevens' are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.
25"Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. 27He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing [of the temple] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him." (NIV)
This small section of Scripture is one of the most profound prophecies of Christ’s timetable. Someone once noted that “Daniel’s 70 “weeks” prophecy is unsurpassed in majesty, unparalleled in detail, and unrivaled in the prophets.” It takes us from the Babylonian captivity to the Messianic kingdom, providing us with a road map of future events found nowhere else in Scripture. Perhaps the only Messianic prophecy to compare to what is before us is Isaiah’s 53rd chapter where he lays out the life, death, and resurrection of the Messiah.
A. C. Gaebelein wrote: “The prophetic message Gabriel brought from the throne of God to Daniel is perhaps the most important not only in the book of Daniel, but in the whole Bible. The clear understanding of it is indispensable to every reader of God’s Word, who wants to know God’s purposes concerning the future. In the few verses which contain the words of Gabriel, events relating to Jewish future history are predicted. The return of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity, the rebuilding of the city in time of distress, the coming of Christ in humiliation, his death, the destruction of the temple and the city by the Romans, the desolations and wars which were to follow, all this is prewritten in this great prophecy. The final end of the time of the Gentiles, the great eventful week of seven years is revealed in the last verse.”
To understand the timing we must understand what the “Seventy weeks” really is. “Weeks” is the translation of the Hebrew word “שבוע” shabua.” This word is like the English word “dozen.” Dozen means a set of twelve. Shabua means a set of seven. “Weeks” is a set of seven (days). But, the context of this passage is years. What Daniel is being told is that there is a period of 70 sets (weeks) of 7 years that are coming, a total of 490 years. After the Babylonian exile, the temple was rebuilt. This was started around the year 449BC. So if we go from there, we can take ourselves to the time to the crucifixion of Christ.
Verse 26 starts with the sublime statement, “And after sixty-two sevens, the Anointed One (Messiah) will be cut off.” The 434 years period follows the already passed 49 year period and so we learn that after 483 years from the time Nehemiah began to rebuild the temple, the Messiah “will be cut off.” That takes us right up to the time of Christ’s crucifixion.
This is one of the most astounding statements in the Scripture. Messiah is not coming to set up a kingdom of peace and prosperity (at least not initially), but He will be destroyed, or killed. And, we are given the time when this will happen.
The works of Sir Robert Anderson and Harold Hoehner, illustrated this to show that the fulfillment of the 483 years occurred on the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.
All said, this is one of the many passages that points to Jesus being the Christ.
Hope I didn’t confuse you as a lot of this came from notes I had that I cut down to fit into this space.
Blessings and Peace